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Mickey Callaway has John Ricco's support

Assistant GM is impressed with how rookie manager has team "playing to the end"

Mets interim general manager John Ricco addresses the

Mets interim general manager John Ricco addresses the press before a game against the Padres at Citi Field on July 25.

The largest question looming over the Mets — who will be the next general manager? — will go a long way toward answering the rest of them.

But for now, at least, every indication continues to be Mickey Callaway will be back in 2019 for a second season as Mets manager.

“I would fully anticipate him coming back,” said assistant GM John Ricco, whose own future with the organization is unclear. “What’s impressed me the most, for a rookie manager in New York, he’s got the team playing hard all the way to the end. A team that’s been out of it quite a while. He’s really got a lot of young guys trending in the right direction.

“For a rookie manager, he’s kind of battled through some of the ups and downs and a pretty long downturn and righted the ship, and I think he has us in a position where we can at least start talking about ways to be competitive next year and compete for a playoff spot.”

Callaway — citing the importance of remaining even-keel, as he has all season — said his first year working in New York City has been exciting despite the Mets falling well short of their expectations.

“Your day is always filled with excitement. Anything can happen,” Callaway said. "I wish we could have played a little bit better and won more games, looking back on things. But I think it’s an exciting place to play. The fans are unbelievable. If you win in New York, it’s tremendous. When we change what we’re trying to do and get to where we want to get, this is going to be really exciting.”

As for the GM search, Ricco said his involvement has been limited to conversations with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon. Jeff Wilpon and his father, chief executive officer Fred Wilpon, will lead the search, and Ricco said, “Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do.”

Does Ricco consider himself a candidate?

“Right now, no,” Ricco said.

Notes & quotes: Ricco echoed a common second-half sentiment of Callaway’s, in discussing how the Mets can get better in 2019: emphasize defense. “If we’re going to be built on pitching, we have to catch the ball,” Ricco said.…Has Jeff McNeil done enough to be the starting second baseman next season? “He’s done everything he could do to put himself right in that conversation,” Ricco said.…To make room for David Wright on the 25- and 40-man rosters, the Mets put reliever Eric Hanhold (left oblique strain) on the 60-day disabled list.…Yoenis Cespedes’ second heel surgery is penciled in for the third week of October, Ricco said…Before their rain-delayed start Tuesday, the Mets played a tribute video for Lucas Duda, who joined the Braves late last month.

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